EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

07.26.18

Microsoft Patent Trolls and IBM Against 35 U.S.C. § 101 and for Software Patents, Blackmail

Posted in America, IBM, Microsoft, Patents at 12:17 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

They hardly even manage to keep it a secret any longer

Telling secrets

Summary: With the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 gaining traction and with Section 101 limiting the scope of patents in the United States we now see increased lobbying and trolling by companies on the decline — companies whose last remaining ‘asset’ is a large pile of software patents

THE enforcement of software patents has become very hard in the US. Many no longer bother with it, so litigation numbers dropped sharply. This is a positive development; unless or except for those who make a living from litigation (patent trolls, lawyers and so on).

“Copyrights do a good enough job protecting one’s code from misuse.”Our latest post on trade secrets certainly was a celebration of the shift away from patents, at least for software. Copyrights do a good enough job protecting one’s code from misuse. Here is some mainstream media coverage about this trend:

Trade secrets claims are an increasingly common avenue companies are using to safeguard their intellectual property rights.

Trade secrets litigation has grown as the digital age has made sharing information quick and easy. In addition, the Defend Trade Secrets Act, passed in 2016, raised trade secrets from simply a state law claim to a federal one.

“Intellectual property holders are increasingly aware they have this tool in their arsenal,” Michael W. De Vries, with Kirkland & Ellis LLP in Los Angeles, told Bloomberg Law. De Vries has substantial experience representing clients in complex intellectual property disputes including patent litigation and litigation involving misappropriation of trade secrets.

We’ve already seen this law being used/leveraged in the context of software. One famous case concerns Sergey Aleynikov.

“Call these “AI” or “cloud” or “blockchain” or whatever, but these are still software patents and even holders of such patents know they’d be rendered invalid by courts (if brought into the context of litigation).”In the wake of Section 101 with Alice (SCOTUS) embodied in it we’re seeing a fall in success rates of software patent litigation. Call these “AI” or “cloud” or “blockchain” or whatever, but these are still software patents and even holders of such patents know they’d be rendered invalid by courts (if brought into the context of litigation). Here comes Stephen O’Neal (yesterday in a blockchain-oriented/cryptocurrency-centric site) ‘blockchain-washing’ a bunch of software patents. To quote:

Last week, news of at least three major players applying for blockchain-related patents emerged: Bank of America sought to legally protect its blockchain-based system allowing the external validation of data, Barclays filed two patent applications relating to the transfer of digital currency and blockchain data storage, while MasterCard’s application mentioned a form of a public blockchain-based method for linking assets between blockchain and fiat accounts.

As blockchain technology continues to be one of the most discussed things in 2018 and a subject for mass adoption, the number of crypto-related patents is steadily growing — and with patent trolls joining the game, a legal war over blockchain might occur in the future.

There are indeed “patent trolls joining the game,” but they too must know that those are software patents and therefore Alice is a threat to them. If they target (engage in extortion against) small companies, they will likely be able to avoid a legal battle. Other than that, they can hope and pray that Alice will just miraculously vanish. IBM lobbyists together with IPO have been working towards that for years; they have created a whole “task force” for this purpose, accompanying IBM’s massive war of patent aggression. IBM’s latest case of patent blackmail has been going public (due to a lawsuit). They do this to probably hundreds of firms behind closed doors and Bloomberg did a report about it last week, as did many other press outlets. Last week we saw IBM’s patent chief (Manny Schecter) associating with and contributing to Watchtroll again. Citing Watchtroll about Mayo/Section 101, he said: “The Court in Alice did not state what “something more” might be? Of course they didn’t. The Court declined to define “abstract” so how can one know what is significantly more than something as yet unidentified?”

“Algorithms are abstract,” I told him. Software patents “are therefore over [and IBM] needs to learn to deal with it and stop blackmailing the whole world.”

“It’s worth noting that both IBM and Microsoft not only attempt to leverage software patents for extortion; they also attempt to change the law to facilitate this massive (multi-billion) extortion racket.”As we noted here in the recent and distant past, Microsoft now pretends that it “loves Linux”, so Microsoft has ‘outsourced’ patent litigation against GNU/Linux to various patent trolls.

We’ve just noticed that there’s this Section 101 (35 U.S.C. § 101) case between Interval Licensing LLC and AOL (maybe the same “Interval” as Interval Research Corporation, the creation of Microsoft’s co-founder; according to Wikipedia they overlap). It’s a Federal Circuit (CAFC) case which Patent Docs covered earlier this week:

Interval Licensing brought an action against AOL and several other defendants in the Western District of Washington, alleging infringement of U.S. Patent No. 6,034,652. In a previous ruling, all asserted claims of this patent were invalidated as being indefinite. At issue in this decision are claims 15-18, which were subsequently ruled invalid for failing to recite patent-eligibile subject matter under 35 U.S.C. § 101.

[...]

Applying step one of Alice, the Court quickly concluded that the claimed invention was directed to “providing information to a person without interfering with the person’s primary activity.” This, in and of itself, is an abstract idea according to the Court due to it being analogous to news tickers on television programs, for example. The Court also frowned upon the claim’s “broad, result-oriented” structure that “demands the production of a desired result (non-interfering display of two information sets) without any limitation on how to produce that result.”

So Alice stopped this Microsoft-connected troll, which previously also attacked Android. It’s worth noting that both IBM and Microsoft not only attempt to leverage software patents for extortion; they also attempt to change the law to facilitate this massive (multi-billion) extortion racket.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. The Quality of Patents is Connected to the Quality of Life of Patent Examiners

    EPO staff is not happy (a new President has not changed things) and the problems associated with low quality of patents become more visible in courtrooms



  2. American Patent Courts Keep Narrowing Patent Scope, No Matter What Few Politicians Are Doing on Behalf of Litigation Firms and Patent Trolls

    Acts of desperation in the patent microcosm of the United States, where judges now overwhelmingly reject software patents at all levels (tribunals, lower courts, higher courts)



  3. Links 25/4/2019: Rancher Labs Releases Slim OS, OpenBSD 6.5 is Ready

    Links for the day



  4. Links 24/4/2019: Chrome 74, QEMU 4.0 Released

    Links for the day



  5. Supreme Court of the UK, Which Habitually Throws Out European Patents, May Overturn Troublesome Unwired Planet v Huawei Decision

    A lot of European Patents are facing growing scrutiny from courts (Team UPC, including Bristows, publicly complains about it this month) and "greenwashing" of the Office won't be enough to paint/frame these patents as "ethical"



  6. German Federal Patent Court Curbs the Patent Maximalism of the EPO, Which Promotes Patents on Nature and/or Maths Every Single Day

    European courts are restraining the EPO, which has been trying to bypass or replace such courts (with the UPC); it certainly seems as though European Patents rapidly lose their legitimacy or much-needed presumption of validity



  7. Any 'Linux' Foundation Needs to Be Managed by Geeks, Not Politicians and PR People

    Linux bureaucracy has put profits way ahead of technical merits and this poses a growing threat or constitutes risk to the direction of the project, not to mention its ownership



  8. Links 23/4/2019: Kodi 'Leia' 18.2 and DeX Everywhere

    Links for the day



  9. Code of Coercion

    Entryism is visible for all to see, but pointing it out is becoming a risky gambit because of the "be nice!" (or "be polite!") crowd, which shields the perpetrators of a slow and gradual corporate takeover



  10. António Campinos Would Not Refer to the EPO's Enlarged Board of Appeal If He Did Not Control the Outcomes

    António Campinos and his ilk aren’t interested in patent quality because his former ‘boss’, who publicly denied there were issues and vainly rejected patent quality concerns as illegitimate, is now controlled by him (reversal of roles) and many new appointees at the top are "yes men" (or women) of Campinos, former colleagues whom he bossed at EUIPO (as expected)



  11. Links 22/4/2019: Linux 5.1 RC6, New Release of Netrunner and End of Scientific Linux

    Links for the day



  12. USPTO and EPO Both Slammed for Abandoning Patent Quality and Violating the Law/Caselaw in Order to Grant Illegitimate Patents on Life/Nature and Mathematics

    Mr. Iancu, the ‘American Battistelli’ (appointed owing to nepotism), mirrors the ‘Battistelli operandi’, which boils down to treating judges like they’re stooges and justices like an ignorable nuisance — all this in the name of litigation profits, which necessitate constant wars over illegitimate patents (it is expensive to prove their illegitimacy)



  13. IRC Proceedings: January 27th, 2019 – March 24th, 2019

    Many IRC logs



  14. IRC Proceedings: December 2nd, 2018 – January 26th, 2019

    Many IRC logs



  15. Links 21/4/2019: SuperTuxKart's 1.0 Release, Sam Hartman Is Debian’s Newest Project Leader (DPL)

    Links for the day



  16. The EPO's Use of Phrases Like “High-Quality Patent Services” Means They Know High-Quality European Patents Are 'Bygones'

    The EPO does a really poor job hiding the fact that its last remaining objective is to grant as many European Patents as possible (and as fast as possible), conveniently conflating quality with pace



  17. A Reader's Suggestion: Directions for Techrights

    Guest post by figosdev



  18. Links 20/4/2019: Weblate 3.6 and Pop!_OS 19.04

    Links for the day



  19. The Likes of Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA), Team Campinos and Team UPC Don't Represent Europe But Hurt Europe

    The abject disinterest in patent quality and patent validity (as judged by courts) threatens Europe but not to the detriment of those who are in the 'business' of suing and printing lots of worthless patents



  20. The Linux Foundation Needs to Change Course Before GNU/Linux (as a Free Operating System) is Dead

    The issues associated with the Linux Foundation are not entirely new; but Linux now incorporates so many restrictions and contains so many binary blobs that one begins to wonder what "Linux" even means



  21. Largest Patent Offices Try to Leave Courts in a State of Disarray to Enable the Granting of Fake Patents in the US and Europe

    Like a monarchy that effectively runs all branches of government the management of the EPO is trying to work around the judiciary; the same is increasingly happening (or at least attempted) in the United States



  22. Links 19/4/2019: PyPy 7.1.1, LabPlot 2.6, Kipi Plugins 5.9.1 Released

    Links for the day



  23. Links 18/4/2019: Ubuntu and Derivatives Have Releases, digiKam 6.1.0, OpenSSH 8.0 and LibreOffice 6.2.3

    Links for the day



  24. Freedom is Not a Business and Those Who Make 'Business' by Giving it Away Deserve Naming

    Free software is being parceled and sold to private monopolisers; those who facilitate the process enrich themselves and pose a growing threat to freedom in general — a subject we intend to tackle in the near future



  25. Concluding the Linux Foundation (LF) “Putting the CON in Conference!” (Part 3)

    Conferences constructed or put together based on payments rather than merit pose a risk to the freedom of free software; we conclude our series about events set up by the largest of culprits, which profits from this erosion of freedom



  26. “Mention the War” (of Microsoft Against GNU/Linux)

    The GNU/Linux desktop (or laptops) seems to be languishing or deteriorating, making way for proprietary takeover in the form of Vista 10 and Chrome OS and “web apps” (surveillance); nobody seems too bothered — certainly not the Linux Foundation — by the fact that GNU/Linux itself is being relegated or demoted to a mere “app” on these surveillance platforms (WSL, Croûton and so on)



  27. The European Patent Office Does Not Care About the Law, Today's Management Constantly Attempts to Bypass the Law

    Many EPs (European Patents) are actually "IPs" (invalid patents); the EPO doesn't seem to care and it is again paying for corrupt scholars to toe the party line



  28. The US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) Once Again Pours Cold Water on Patent Maximalists

    Any hopes of a rebound or turnaround have just been shattered because a bizarre attack on the appeal process (misusing tribal immunity) fell on deaf ears and software patents definitely don't interest the highest court, which already deemed them invalid half a decade ago



  29. Links 17/4/2019: Qt 5.12.3 Released, Ola Bini Arrested (Political Stunts)

    Links for the day



  30. Links 16/4/2019: CentOS Turns 15, Qt Creator 4.9.0 Released

    Links for the day


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts